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Auburn 59, Missouri 42: Grading the defense

Your defensive "MVPs": E.J. Gaines (6.30), Kony Ealy (6.25), and schadenfreude.

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

At this point, I'd like to assume that the Matt White hatred in comments is an attempt at parody.

Defensive Coordinator

Dave Steckel: 2.17 (season average: 6.68)


1st off, how many characters am I allowed here? That was horrifying to watch our team get completely dominated. The players must be embarrassed. We all knew Auburn was going to run but Mizzou was powerless to stop them. Many SEC schools would fire their DC after a performance like that. However, Mizzou is not one of those schools.

2nd loss and 2nd time Steck chokes

3-man line most of the game? Seriously?


Adjustments anyone?


can't change a defense in less than a week......

defend something


Don't know if anything would have worked but would have liked to see Steck get out of the Nickel...He has been great all year but low score this week

Either too stubborn or completely incompetent for keeping with the 3 man line.

F-U Dave

failed miserably but we already knew that he had no answer to the triple option

Failed to make adjustments or made wrong ones

fart noise



I dont blame the kids, this is on the coach. Twice we've been burn by triple option in the past few years.

I understand that you have a plan and that you think it comes down to execution, but there weren't tweaks to be made, there were adjustments that needed to be done. I know they probably hadn't practiced, but what would be the crime in laying down a five man line or 4 + 1 linebacker. I steadfastly believe that Pinkel/Steckel know more about football than I ever will, but it was certainly dissapointing watching the second half defense and three man lines (I know that wasn't the only issue)

I would write something but Stec would hunt me down. So...

I'm not saying I have the answer to stopping Auburn, but it's damn clear Steck didn't have the answer either.

I'm not sure what he could have done, but at the end of the day, it still rests with Steck to have found an answer. Didn't happen.

If Steckel never sees an option-based run offense again it'll be too soon :(

inability to adapt and change. I would have put one of the safties up on the line and blitzed forcing Auburn to throw. while covering all wideouts and running backs in single coverage. Steckel lives by the cover 2 and 3 against a team like this you will get your head kicked in and that is exactly what happened. To put it another way. try the old super bowl Chicago bears defense against auburn and see how that works

Love Steck but this was embarrassing. Auburn's best rushing day in-conf came in the title game? No adjustment or clue. Sad.

maybe going to a 46 would have helped. maybe not, I don't know.

no adjustment

No game plan or adjustments at all

Not sure what Steckel was thinking. When the four man front wasn't working against the run, lets try a 3 man front! Terrible adjustments at the half.

one of his worst games, Auburn's great, but just obscene amounts of yards given up

Pinkel & Steckel BOTH need to take the course: Defending the Option/Wing Offense.... We were in the WRONG defensive formation(s) for most of the game. Terrible Coaching!!!

Probably unfair, but it is deeply unnerving to see a DC look fresh out of ideas...

Saban said it best: "To stop this triple option, you have to control line of scrimmage." I have no earthly idea, how any football team, superhuman or otherwise, could do so in the defensive schemes that we lined up in on Saturday.

Sheesh! that's a tough offense to defend but damn...

Staying with the 3 man line hurt them

Successful regular season raises grade to 4. The last full running team we played was Navy and we got torched by them as well. We have to be able to defend an offense like Auburn and Navy. Yes, they are good, but so are we. Defensive scheme just needs to be better at attacking the option. Glad we are not playing Georgia Tech in the Bowl Game.

Terrible schemes - loss is on Steckel

Text from a friend: Who is Missouri's defensive coordinator? The gameplan was...interesting.

That sucked

Tough challenge but didn't meet it. Best option: Force the ball into the QB's hand and let him fumble.


Was he at the game

was he sleeping during this game?

What's the definition for insane?

When the 3 man front didn't work, he kept using it. WHY??????

Why the 3 man front? Why no adjustments for that run?

Defensive End

Kony Ealy: 6.25 (season average: 7.10)
Michael Sam: 4.47 (7.23)
Markus Golden: 4.47 (7.10)
Shane Ray: 4.08 (6.72)

Aside from the forced fumble, nothing went right for these guys

basically lost Ealy to the draft in a game the defense didn't show up in. neat


could not get upfield


Ealy had a couple big plays, but really a nonfactor in this game.

Ealy made some plays, but as a whole the DEs took themselves out of plays repeatedly. -Mac6

Ealy with pressure and force fumble and really that's about all these guys did :(

Failed by scheme & coach.

good not great

Hat tip to the Auburn O-line on this one. Mizzou left to live for the turnover.

I thought Ealy was the Tigers best defensive player by far Saturday. The other ends were either overpursuing or getting kicked out with ease.

It's all on Steckel

Kony Ealy making plays. Where have you been Michael Sam?

Not surprisingly, never heard Ray mentioned and only heard Golden mentioned a couple of times.

Outstanding group. Lost a little momentum the last half of the season.

Shane Ray had an especially bad game, over pursuit into the backfield and was taken out of plays

That's not a wind tunnel in the Georgia Dome, kids. That's the whiff of a missed tackle.

The DE's played the formations the way the coaches told them to... which was the wrong defensive formation... We were getting TOO much penetration into the backfield, thus opening up HUGE gaps for running lanes...

They applied a bunch of pressure, actually. But it wasn't enough.

They did OK. It's tough to grade this group harsh.

very quiet, got some good pressure early on, but just continually worn down and beaten back


Defensive Tackle

Matt Hoch: 4.28 (season average: 6.58)
Lucas Vincent: 3.92 (6.51)
Harold Brantley: 3.85 (6.56)
Josh Augusta: 3.69 (6.14)

Bad. -Mac6

Did anyone tell them the game was at 4 Eastern time, not Central? Maybe they were stuck in traffic?

Did they even play in this game? Literally, I don't think any of them made a tackle all game

DT were pushed around all afternoon

Failed by scheme & coach. Wrap-up!

Hoch had a fumble recovery, so there's that, very lackluster performance

I really expected them to hold their own much better than they did. Disappointing.

It seems like I noticed Brantley for the first time this season.

It's all on Steckel

Looking ahead of the bowl game, another hardworking offseason should set these young guys up nicely.

Pretty good group.

The Auburn interior line destroyed our tackles

The Auburn RBs/QB had the first step to the middle free a lot, also the next 3 steps.

They got manhandled

They...they just got pushed right out of the way :(

this is too depressing to continue

Would putting in three DT's at the same time helped?



Andrew Wilson: 4.52 (season average: 7.09)
Donovan Bonner: 3.97 (6.34)
Kentrell Brothers: 3.92 (6.59)
Darvin Ruise: 3.45 (6.13)


Bad angles, bad positioning, bad tackling

big 12 speed

Donovan had some nice moments, Wilson too. But we needed more help up the middle.

Failed by scheme & coach. Couldn't shed blocks.

Gashed and blocked all game. -Mac6

Its all on Steckel

LBs did little to slow down the run game

Lost the game of three-card-monte a lot.

Love this time like a Brother(s) but not a good day boys.

Missed arm tackles :(

Missed tackles and missed assignments doomed this group

missed tackles on missed tackles on missed tackles

Needed to play soundly but lack of speed played a larger factor. Once the ball carrier passes this level the defnense is in major trouble.

Not fast enough as a group.

The Linebackers allowed way too many big plays to go for big yards...

They did some good things, but man too many times just a half step off of a good tackle and that killed Mizzous' chances.

They must've stayed in Columbia because they made no impact during the game


wrap up!



E.J. Gaines: 6.30 (season average: 7.56)
Randy Ponder: 5.04 (6.62)
Aarion Penton: 4.54 (6.60)
John Gibson: 4.36 (6.37)

All the CBs did ok, after that personel foul i thought gaines was going to step it up and take over but it only happened on one possesion

Atleast they didn't get torched passing, for the most part. Have to find a way to diagnose, find, and tackle the ball barrier quicker.

Did we even need Corners for this game

EJ did pretty darn good.

EJ Gains should go in the 1st round.

EJ was good, but not enough. -Mac6

Gaines was ok, tackling was poor

Gaines was solid. NO one else in the secondary stood out

I'm going to miss Gaines.

its all on steckel

No help in run support :(

not a horrible day from the secondary, hard to do much when there's no passing

Not much they can do in open field once AUB RBs up to speed. Dart-catchers.

Other than Gaines, WTF?

Please stand in front of this moving train and make it stop. Love, the Missouri front seven.

They at least made few tackles

wrap up!


Braylon Webb: 4.47 (season average: 6.58)
Duron Singleton: 3.90 (5.95)
Ian Simon: 3.86 (6.17)
Matt White: 3.80 (6.13)

Bad time for bad Matt White to show up again

did Singleton even play? forced to make too many tackles, Simon and White both were burned pretty bad when AU did pass

Did Singleton play? -Mac6

Did singleton play? That was an awful game from the safety perspective

Failed by scheme & coach.

Horrible tackling..I thought White was ok last week but man did he look bad Saturday

It took 15 weeks, but Matt White finally infected the rest of the defense.

its all on steckel

just horrid

Lots of tackles here. Too many, and there's the problem.

Maybe you'll have more of a role against Okie State?

No comment. :)

Only 60 more minutes of Matt White!!!!!!

Safety position was forced to make way too many tackles

They were flat out sad to watch, given it comes from the design of the offense but theres no excuse for the poor tackling. The adjustment that needed to be made is to pull Matt White and put Duron Singleton in his place. He has been misused at the nickel would would have been better suited to stop the run. He plays aggressive with physicality that Matt White lacks. It's what allows the 15 yard runs to become 40 yard runs.

When your safeties lead the team in tackles something has gone wrong :(

Special Teams

Andrew Baggett (kickoffs): 7.55 (season average: 7.64)
Andrew Baggett (place-kicking): 7.25 (6.00)
Jake Hurrell (long-snapping): 6.63 (7.29)
Braylon Webb (holding): 6.46 (6.89)
Christian Brinser (punting): 5.74 (6.76)

Andrew Baggett didn't cost us the game.

At least we made out field goals

Baggett did good .

Baggett showed up for this one

Baggett was fine, Brinser was below average but that might have been scheme more than execution

Baggett was good. Brinser...not so much

did what they had to do

I think baggett was our mvp for this game on defense

its all on steckel

Nice bounce-back, Baggs! Build on it.

Not as good as Auburns, but good job overall.

Solid effort

The only really bad play was that onsides kick, and I still think that was illegal. -Mac6

They didn't hurt us.

Yes there was a roof, but Bagget didn;t allow any returns on KO's. I'll take that.